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ufk22

How often do you Inspect/clean/lube your cut-away cable and exercise your 3-rings?

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A recent incident raised this question.
As a side note, were you taught this as a student?
This is the paradox of skydiving. We do something very dangerous, expose ourselves to a totally unnecesary risk, and then spend our time trying to make it safer.

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Those are four different activities.

Clean cables - every so often. Depends on climate. Clean housings - rigger's job. One that some (very prominent) riggers do poorly or neglect to do. Exercise rings - no clue what you mean by that...

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lyosha

Those are four different activities.

Clean cables - every so often. Depends on climate. Clean housings - rigger's job. One that some (very prominent) riggers do poorly or neglect to do. Exercise rings - no clue what you mean by that...

Unless you jump where there is a lot of sand, I don't know that cleaning the housing is recommended unless there is an issue. Studies I've seen show that a light lube on the cut-away cable, especially the ends where it passes through the 3-ring loop, can significantly reduce pull force.
Exercising the three-rings means to twist the rings enough for the riser fabric to flex substantially a few times to help avoid the riser from taking a set, which can cause delayed release. I know of one case where a friend of mine had to wipe her hand across her three-rings after a chop to get them to release.
This is the paradox of skydiving. We do something very dangerous, expose ourselves to a totally unnecesary risk, and then spend our time trying to make it safer.

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ufk22

Exercising the three-rings means to twist the rings enough for the riser fabric to flex substantially a few times to help avoid the riser from taking a set, which can cause delayed release. I know of one case where a friend of mine had to wipe her hand across her three-rings after a chop to get them to release.



How long ago was that, and were those Type 17 or Type 8 risers? Some more info from Bill Booth: http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=1652688#1652688

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ufk22

So far, less than 30% get it.



I was surprised that anyone actually bothers to follow the supposed ideal of once a month that Bill Booth puts in his instructions!

After all, people are used to seeing manuals with all sorts of cover-their-ass statements about frequent inspections, that nobody does.

There isn't much incentive with 3-rings and cutaway cables as there's so little evidence that it matters, 1 month vs. 6 month. One just doesn't hear people say, "Gee that was a tough cutaway... but I kind of expected that, it's been 3 months since the repack when I last had the cables lubed."

But I'm not saying it doesn't matter. There have been tests where lubed cables have lower forces than dry ones, which become more significant under high G. But I haven't seen studies on friction vs. time in the field for rigs, to what degree the friction goes up after 1 month or the old 120 days or 180 days for repacks in the US.

As for stiff 3 rings, mini risers do sometimes seem to get pretty stiff. But likely doesn't usually matter unless one has a super low drag bag lock with a collapsed pilot chute or something like that? Again, I can't rule out possible problems but we don't see good data or anecdotal evidence on forces to pull the risers away. (Although there was one case of a problem riser release mentioned earlier in this thread.)

Oh, and good spotting mxk -- a lot of manuals just parrot Bill Booth's instructions from 30+ years back. So unless one has some particular 1980s big type 8 risers, even he says there is no reason to exercise the 3-rings / bottom of the risers!

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I was taught this as a student, in particular I remember being told to never use WD30 to clean the cutaway, to be careful what oil I used (maybe also that silicone lube was best) but I might be confabulating with what a rigger once did with a closing loop.

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Follow on question here...

For those that say (on this, or ANY other issue) that "its the rigger's job".... have you discussed with YOUR rigger what (s)he does consider their job?

_I_ do inspect/clean/lubricate the cutaway cables and exercise the main risers, if they are present... but several folks bring their system to me without the main and/or cutaway cable there...

Other riggers feel that they are working on the TSO'ed portions only (not the main) unless specifically asked because, that's the owner/operator's job...

Want to know what your rigger does?
ASK?!?

JW
Always remember that some clouds are harder than others...

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ufk22

***Those are four different activities.

Clean cables - every so often. Depends on climate. Clean housings - rigger's job. One that some (very prominent) riggers do poorly or neglect to do. Exercise rings - no clue what you mean by that...

Unless you jump where there is a lot of sand, I don't know that cleaning the housing is recommended unless there is an issue. Studies I've seen show that a light lube on the cut-away cable, especially the ends where it passes through the 3-ring loop, can significantly reduce pull force.
Exercising the three-rings means to twist the rings enough for the riser fabric to flex substantially a few times to help avoid the riser from taking a set, which can cause delayed release. I know of one case where a friend of mine had to wipe her hand across her three-rings after a chop to get them to release.

That's a funny thing - I was told it was the rigger's job to clean out housings every repack in NE USA, far from any sand.

Meanwhile in the Western USA (where there isn't much grass...) a different, also well established rigger with a large operation clearly thought otherwise with someone I know. I had my rigger repack her rig (it was that time of the year), he came back and said she had a really hard pull because of shit lodged in the cable housings.

So if it's your job to repack someone's reserve, clean the damn things with a pipe cleaner? Please?

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lyosha


That's a funny thing - I was told it was the rigger's job to clean out housings every repack in NE USA, far from any sand.



Interesting how things differ in different places.

I had never ever heard anyone talk about cleaning housings routinely, in over 20 years either with local riggers or the occasional rigger instructor.

Didn't see any pipe cleaner listed in Para Gear's big rigging kit (tho' it might be a bit outdated), nor in some DZ.com thread about what tools a new rigger needs.

Sure there's the old idea of gravel getting in the reserve housing if you are submerging yourself in the pea pit when downwinding your ParaCommander, and that during a repack one wants to make sure that cables slide in cleanly without obstruction, but I had never heard of cleaning the housings being on any rigging to do list.

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The act of removing and cleaning the cable will dislodge any foreign matter from the housing. Unless it's a coating on the inside, typically oil from the manufacturing process. Cleaning the cable is cleaning the housing.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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fcajump

Follow on question here...

For those that say (on this, or ANY other issue) that "its the rigger's job".... have you discussed with YOUR rigger what (s)he does consider their job?

_I_ do inspect/clean/lubricate the cutaway cables and exercise the main risers, if they are present... but several folks bring their system to me without the main and/or cutaway cable there...

Other riggers feel that they are working on the TSO'ed portions only (not the main) unless specifically asked because, that's the owner/operator's job...

Want to know what your rigger does?
ASK?!?

JW



I clean then too, as long as they are there.

I'd be interested in what rigger's impression was of how many jumpers were actually doing the recommended cleaning/lubing.

In my experience I think 30% would be too high an estimate. I don't think most jumpers touch the three rings between repacks.
"What if there were no hypothetical questions?"

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Monthly is the answer I think you are looking for

We hold an event at Mee Loft every month with a focus on gear inspection and maintenance as well as seminars on understanding equipment better such as AAD's, MARDS, Canopy flight etc

https://www.facebook.com/events/768892729922624/

if you are in town swing by :)
I like my canopy...


...it lets me down.

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Southern_Man


In my experience I think 30% would be too high an estimate. I don't think most jumpers touch the three rings between repacks.

You could very well be right. I've seen peeps with 100s of jumps that didn't know how to disassemble/reassemble their 3 rings, or at least didn't trust themselves to do it correctly.

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JohnMitchell

***
In my experience I think 30% would be too high an estimate. I don't think most jumpers touch the three rings between repacks.

You could very well be right. I've seen peeps with 100s of jumps that didn't know how to disassemble/reassemble their 3 rings, or at least didn't trust themselves to do it correctly.

John, do you think those people have the capacity to spot a flip through (inverted ring) on their own or someone else's rig, while in an airplane or boarding area? I spotted two of them this season (one was a tandem)

I clean my cables and message my risers at least every 30 days (and twice during the month of July when I make 140 jumps) . I carry the materials in my gear bag and often help others do the same.

I personally see NO down side in doing it more often and no down side to messaging the risers.
Be the canopy pilot you want that other guy to be.

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Skydivesg

******
In my experience I think 30% would be too high an estimate. I don't think most jumpers touch the three rings between repacks.

You could very well be right. I've seen peeps with 100s of jumps that didn't know how to disassemble/reassemble their 3 rings, or at least didn't trust themselves to do it correctly.

John, do you think those people have the capacity to spot a flip through (inverted ring) on their own or someone else's rig, while in an airplane or boarding area? I spotted two of them this season (one was a tandem)

I clean my cables and message my risers at least every 30 days (and twice during the month of July when I make 140 jumps) . I carry the materials in my gear bag and often help others do the same.

I personally see NO down side in doing it more often and no down side to messaging the risers.Sandy
Keep those massages confined to gear. At your age, giving a massage to a skydiver might be child molesting.:)Great picture in Parachutist by the way!!!
This is the paradox of skydiving. We do something very dangerous, expose ourselves to a totally unnecesary risk, and then spend our time trying to make it safer.

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Skydivesg


John, do you think those people have the capacity to spot a flip through (inverted ring) on their own or someone else's rig, while in an airplane or boarding area? I spotted two of them this season (one was a tandem)

Good question. They DO look pretty wonky when they are like that. Hopefully someone would notice. It's part of my checks of 3s that I do multiple times before each jump, heck, before getting on the plane.

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I got my rig repacked after it sat a while. I mentioned to my rigger/instructor that was about to do my recurrency jump that I was going to do my 3 ring maintenance and was told she had just completed it as part of the repack. Perhaps I should have thought to have the discussion, but at least I was on the side of caution.

The poll didn't offer enough choices. I' probably do it every 45-60 days, so more than once or twice a season, but not every 30 days.

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Spot on. As I have said in other threads I would cover riser maintenance when I would teach an AFF packing course. Its important for many reasons. It is in the student log book in the proficiency card. The manufacturer recommends it be done every 30 days. The material between the rings can take a set(memory) and it is not the riggers responsibility to massage the 3 rings, cleaning the cable is only done if by the rigger 6 mos if the cable is even with the rig when dropped off, and should be discussed between you and your rigger. IMO 6 mos is a little too long. The cable can also take a set and can be difficult to pull when the areas where the cable makes tight turns in the housing get stuck in that shape. I try to massage these ares also when I clean it.

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